Julian Castro Visits Storm Lake

Autumn McClain, Opinion Editor

Julian Castro, 2020 democratic presidential candidate, came to Storm Lake, IA, on Feb. 23, 2019 to speak with community members about their concerns and expectations going into the upcoming election. 

Castro opened with a cheerful “Buenos Dias,” welcoming his audience and thanking everyone for attending. After giving a brief background on himself, he jumped into talking about issues of his highest concern.  

“We need to invest in K-12 education by paying teachers what they deserve,” Castro declared. “We also need to make sure that higher education is something that anybody can get, and that they can do it tuition free.” 

Castro also commented on his view of young adults, such as those at BVU, and their role in the upcoming election.

“I’d say that we need you. We need your energy, we need your hope of the future, we need your idealism. You are the ones that are going to have to deal with the consequences and decisions that all of us make for the longest amount of time. You have a perspective that is hopeful. If you don’t make that decision by voting, somebody is going to make that decision for you. I was very encouraged to see young people turn out at a much greater rate in 2018 than they did in the last midterm in 2014. And I think a lot of people have woken up. I’d say that young people should take a page from those activists, now they are college students, at Parkland who have lobbied for common sense gun reform. They have been great role models and I hope that others will follow their lead.” 

Castro also emphasized the hot topic of gun reform, making his clear his stance on the issue and his hopes for the future.  

“I support common sense gun reform. We need universal background checks . . . I believe in limiting the capacity of magazines. I believe in bringing back an assault weapons ban,” Castro said.

During his talk, Castro also addressed his hopes for the future of Washington, particularly mending the political and ideological divide.

We need to change the tone of Washington. This president has been the most divisive president that we have ever had, I think. It’s unprecedented what he has done with his twitter account, in his words, in his actions; he has been very polarizing. The next president needs to change that, and I will change that if I am elected.”

Castro also briefly addressed the issue of border control, indicating his desire to end the separation of families at the border and encouraging compassion for others over increased border security.  

Jessica Sandoval, a resident of Storm Lake who attended Castro’s meet & greet, shared her thoughts on Castro. 

“I am actually impressed with a lot of his concerns and it targets a lot of what we value here in Iowa, said Sandoval. 

It seems Castro’s statements hit home for members of the Storm Lake community.